a prefix meaning “about” or “around” (perimeter, periscope ), “enclosing” or “surrounding” (pericardium ), and “near” (perigee, perihelion ), appearing in loanwords from Greek (peripeteia ); on this model, used in the formation of compound words (perimorph ).

< Greek, prefixal use of perí (adv. and preposition) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
1.  enclosing, encircling, or around: pericardium; pericarp; perigon
2.  near or adjacent: perihelion
[from Greek peri around, near, about]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

prefix meaning "around, about, enclosing," from Gk. peri (prep.) "around, about, beyond," cognate with Skt. pari "around, about, through," L. per (see per).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

peri- pref.

  1. Around; about; enclosing: perimysium.

  2. Near: perinatal.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
A prefix that means: "around" (as in pericardium,) or "near" (as in perihelion).
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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